In the wake of a group of Mississippi and Iowa veterans blowing off both the barricades and the Federal Park Police at the open-air U.S. National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, the next wave of the Greatest Generation is scheduled to visit the historic site as well as face possible arrest, as reported by ABC News, WNWO of Toledo, Ohio as well as the social media micro-blogging site Twitter (see photo) all on Oct. 1, 2013.
The men who stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima, slugged it out in the hedgerows of Normandy and battled the enemy on the high seas and in the skies world-wide were undoubtedly forces to be reckoned with when they were heavily armed and highly trained teen-agers.
Obviously, the US Park Police considered these now octogenarians, nonagenarians, centenarians and possibly even a supercentenarian thrown in the mix wheelchair-bound warriors to still be quite intimidating.
Case in point: a group of WWII vets from Ohio are scheduled to participate in an “Honor Flight” to visit the WWII Memorial next week only to be greeted by armed officers and mounted police with orders to “clear them from the area.”
ABC reports that according to National Mall and Memorial Parks Communications Officer Carol Johnson, the memorial will be shut down and “cleared by Park Police.”
Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio has a trip scheduled to depart from Toledo next Wednesday, October 9.
Unfortunately for the men who literally saved the world from fascism and totalitarianism, they may find themselves scratched from making the flight at all.
In the face of a government shutdown, Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio President Lee Armstrong stated:
We will make the call this Friday to determine if the flight is still a go, or if we will have to re-schedule.
Armstrong went as far as contacting the Washington, DC Parks Service, and according to organization’s president, he was told they would face arrest if they attempted to visit the memorial that was built in their honor.
"I said, are you kidding me? You're going to arrest a 90/91-year-old veteran from seeing his memorial?” Armstrong asked. “ If it wasn't for them it wouldn't be there. She said, 'That's correct sir.'"
When Armstrong asked for her name, he says she did not give it to him and then promptly hung up the phone.
When asked for his opinion of the Honor Flight vets from Mississippi and Iowa who yesterday took it upon themselves to physically remove the barriers placed around the WWII Memorial, Armstrong stated:
It just goes to show you why we won World War II.
The Germans and the Japanese couldn't contain us.
They weren't going to let barriers contain them. They wanted to see their memorial.
WNWO also cited that 99% of veterans on Honor Flights have never had the opportunity to see the memorial that is devoted to their service.
Through October, the are over 35,000 veterans scheduled to visit the site, more than 900 in the next five days alone.